We arrived in Michigan last week, and the effect was immediate. All the leaves were either gold, red, or already on the ground. We had left an early autumn in Tennessee to arrive the next day in late autumn. We bundled up in sweatshirts, and stepped out into an evening of 40 degrees fahrenheit. It was the coldest weather I had experienced in two years, hands down, and it felt wonderful.
All of these external cues: the pumpkins, the raking of leaves, the football games, the Michigan cider, the winterizing of the patio furniture... All of these bring back an entire sphere of the world that I couldn't ever seem to conjure in my imagination, no matter how I tried, surrounded as I was by equatorial climate. It's a sphere filled with decades of people and places, some long gone, now rushing back. In short, it's my home.
I sympathize with people who read this and have trouble fathoming how I would rejoice at this after living 2 years with 60-80 degree weather year round. And maybe I will be taking a different tack by March. However, I'm learning that though these seasons may not be better than year round temperate weather, it is still good. It's good, and it's my home. My Kenyan friends can yearn for the dry and rainy season. I'll take spring, summer, autumn, and even winter. And this is itself a good gift and a reason for rejoicing.
Last Sunday, for the first time in two years, we pulled up to Knox Presbyterian Church. All these friends, all these acquaintances. Some elements of the church service so skillfully done. Some idiosyncracies are a little more quirky, but all of them so wonderfully ours. So wonderfully home.